CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Feb. 23, 2001
University Symphony will honor retiring UI Vice Provost Leslie Sims at
concert March 7
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa Symphony will pay tribute to one
of the universitys most enthusiastic arts supporters, UI Vice Provost
Leslie Sims, at its concert at 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 7 in Hancher Auditorium
on the UI campus.
The concert will also feature UI faculty and guest artists Annette-Barbara
Vogel, violin; Fulbert Slenczka, cello; and Rene Lecuona, piano, in a performance
of Beethovens Triple Concerto.
The concert, under the direction of William LaRue Jones, will be free and
open to the public.
Sims, who will work for the Council of Graduate Schools in Washington, D.C.,
next year and retire from the UI at the end of the 2001-02 academic year,
will be featured with the symphony as narrator in a performance of Benjamin
Brittens "Young Persons Guide to the Orchestra." As
a further tribute to Sims, whose son Stephen Sims was at one time concertmaster
of the orchestra, the entire violin section will play the solo part of the
popular "Meditation" from Massenets "Thais."
The University Symphony will open the concert with "Lollapolooza"
by John Adams.
Sims came to the UI in 1991 as dean of the Graduate College. In that role
he has helped support students in the arts and the arts programs at the UI.
Outside of his professional responsibilities, he has shown support through
attendance and participation in both university and community arts programs.
Jones commented, "What an honor it is to share the stage with one of
the universitys most distinguished administrators who has been such
a strong supporter of the arts, not only at the university but in the community
at large for so many years. We are delighted to provide this special recognition
for his years of service before he retires from the university."
Sims said, "It is a genuine honor to have been asked by the Division
of Performing Arts and the conductor of the University Symphony to narrate
Benjamin Brittens Young Persons Guide to the Orchestra.
I have been a passionate supporter of the excellent arts programs at the UI,
which makes this invitation especially meaningful to me."
One of the most accomplished English composers of the 20th century, Britten
was enjoying his first major success in the years after World War II. Having
earned a reputation as a brilliant orchestrator, he was commissioned in 1945
to write music for a film for the Ministry of Education about the instruments
of the orchestra.
Britten was fascinated with the music of Henry Purcell, Englands most
famous native-born composer and one of the greatest composers of the Baroque
period. Britten had made numerous arrangements of songs and other works by
Purcell, and for the film commission he wrote a set of variations on one of
Purcells dance themes, each variation showing off the sound and capabilities
of one of the orchestral instruments, from the violins all the way through
to the percussion section.
When performed without narration, the score is known as "Variations
and Fugue on a Theme of Henry Purcell," but it is most often programmed
under the title "The Young Persons Guide to the Orchestra,"
with a narrator reading the film script. In this form it had its concert premiere
by the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, with Sir Malcolm Sargent conducting,
on Oct. 15, 1946.
Prior to his appointment to the UI, Sims was associate vice chancellor for
research and professor of chemistry at North Carolina State University. He
has also served on the faculty of the University of Arkansas and Michigan
State University, and held visiting appointments at Indiana University and
the University of Sheffield, England.
His professional career in chemistry includes 28 articles in refereed journals
and more than $1.5 million in National Science Foundation grants for his research
on the dynamics of chemical reaction, kinetic isotope effects, gas-phase kinetics,
unimolecular reactions and molecular vibrations. He has served on the boards
of numerous professional organizations, and been listed in Whos Who
in the South and Southwest, Whos Who in Technology Today, Men of Achievement,
American Men and Women of Science and International Whos Who in Engineering.
Vogel joined the UI faculty in January 1999. She teaches violin and is the
artistic director of Magisterra, the UI International Chamber Music Festival
and Academy that was inaugurated in May 2000. She has performed extensively
in the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia, playing as a soloist with orchestra,
a solo recitalist and chamber musician. She has appeared at the Aspen, Ravinia,
Chautauqua, Menuhin and Schleswig-Holstein festivals, among others.
Prior to her appointment at the UI, Vogel taught at the Folkwang-Hochschule
in Essen. She has taught master classes in Europe, the United States and Asia.
At the recommendation of the Tokyo String Quartet she was appointed artist
in residence at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, where she taught
on the faculty and was a member of the Monticello Trio. She has won numerous
performance competitions, and has been serving on the jury of the "Jugend
musiziert" (Young performers) competition in Germany since 1998.
Vogel has recorded on the Harmonia Mundi, Cybele and Highland labels, including
music by Beethoven, Khachaturian, Smetana, Ravel, Richard Strauss and Alfred
Schnittke. Future recording projects include a violin-cello duo CD and a violin-piano
CD with Sonatas and pieces by Brahms, Enesco, Lutoslawksi and Reger.
Fulbert Slenczka was born in Heidelberg, Germany. Following studies with
some of the leading artists teachers in Germany, he came to the United States
in the late 1980s to study with Janos Starker at Indiana University, where
he received his Artist Diploma. In addition he played in master classes for
the major cellists and teachers, and his strong devotion to chamber music
was supported by the Amadeus Quartet and the Beaux Arts Trio throughout his
Slenczka has won top prizes in many national and international competitions,
including Jugend musiziert and Hochschulwettbewerb Essen in Germany and the
Cello Competition of the Society of American Musicians. He received scholarships
from the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) and the BDI (Cultural Foundation
of Industry in Germany), and from Indiana University.
After receiving his Solo Diploma at the Folkwang-Hochschule in Essen, he
was appointed principal cellist at the orchestra of Deutsche Oper am Rhein
(German opera on the Rhine) in Duisburg/Düsseldorf. Slenczka also pursues
an active career as soloist and recitalist throughout Germany, Western Europe
and the United States, and is an avid teacher and competition judge. He has
recorded for most of the major German Radio and TV stations. Most recently,
he recorded a violin-cello duo CD that will be released in the spring of 2001.
Lecuona maintains an active teaching and performing schedule at the UI School
of Music, including frequent collaborations with her faculty colleagues. Since
joining the faculty in1990 she has appeared in more than 55 on-campus concerts.
She is featured on several CD recordings, including one with double bassist
Diana Gannett of chamber music by Clara Schumann and Johannes Brahms. In a
recent review of the CD in Bass World, Lecuonas performance on the recording
was described as "magnificent."
Lecuona has given solo and chamber music recitals throughout the United States,
South America and the Caribbean. Most recently she performed and presented
master classes in Mexico. She made her Carnegie Hall debut in a chamber performance
in Weill Recital Hall in 1993, and she has appeared as concerto soloist with
orchestras in New York and Iowa. As an Artistic Ambassador for the United
States, she has given concerts and master classes in Argentina, Peru, Ecuador
and Trinidad and Tobago. She has also performed solo recitals and given master
classes at many universities in Brazil.
A UI music alumnus, Jones joined the faculty of the School of Music in 1997
as director of the University Symphony and director of orchestral studies.
Prior to joining the UI faculty, Jones was the founding music director/administrator
of the internationally recognized Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies of
Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn.
Jones is a highly honored musician, having received the Twin Cities Mayors'
Public Art Award, the American String Teachers Association Exceptional Leadership
and Merit Award and the David W. Preuss Leadership Award. He has also been
selected Musician of the Year by Sigma Alpha Iota, a music honorary society.
Jones has appeared as a guest conductor with the Minnesota Orchestra, the
St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Sinfonie Orchester AML-Luzern (Switzerland)
and other orchestras around the world. He has conducted all-state and festival
orchestras in 46 states and five Canadian provinces and been conductor-in-residence
at the North Carolina School of the Arts and the University of Miami (Fla.).
The School of Music is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI
College of Liberal Arts.
For information on UI arts events, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa
on the World Wide Web. You may visit the UI School of Music web site at http://www.uiowa.edu/~music/.
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